We finally managed to catch a bus to Managua. This was not just any bus, this was a special bus called a Chicken Bus. The fare was very cheap. Getting on the bus, one thing was clear: THERE WAS NO SPACE. Squeezing my way passed all the thick senoras I managed to get a spot but standing up. There were no seats available on the bus. The bus ride felt like a rollercoaster, throwing us from side to side, up and down and bumping into everyone. It felt like I was a fish in a sardines can. Just when I thought the bus can’t take on any more passengers we stop at the next bus stop and more people squeeze in. This kept on going on at every bus stop.
The Chicken was almost like a magical portal, a very cramped portal. Feeling someone’s hot breath my your neck and every part of my body was in contact with someone else next to me you quickly realize that personal space does not exist on the chicken bus. It’s not a feeling that you are being violated or you are violating someone else by having unintentional contact. The feeling that was going through everyone’s mind is that, “I just want to go home”, the tolerance amazed me.
Regardless of the lack of space and the bumpy ride, I thoroughly enjoyed the experienced. There was no attitude or verbal exchange as all Nicaraguans that I came across were pretty much chilled out people. I can’t imagine something like this going down well in the US, US or other western countries where personal space is really valued. I felt that this whole experience brought me closer to understanding the Nicaraguans and their culture and I learnt that in my case to leave personal space at home and enjoy the ride.